Tiernan-Locke: It's worrying Kreuziger bio passport case got so far

Former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke says he's confident the biological passport won't stand up to the scrutiny of the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Lincoln Grand Prix 2012

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke says he's pleased for Roman Kreuziger for seeing his biological passport case dropped by the UCI, but continues to insist the testing and disciplinary process is flawed.

The former Team Sky rider is currently serving a two-year ban handed down by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) for abnormal blood levels dating back to his time with Endura Racing in 2012.

While Kreuziger was cleared by his Olympic association, the UCI decided to appeal the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), something that Tiernan-Locke claims he could never have afforded to do.

“I’m really happy for Kreuziger that he has finally been cleared,” he told the Western Morning News, “but it’s so worrying that it got that far.

“I can only imagine the expense he must have incurred – and he must have been almost out the door on his way to Switzerland when the UCI decision came. It was so last-minute.

“His reputation has taken a massive hit, just like mine has, and also that of his team.”

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Tour of Britain 2012, stage eight

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Tour of Britain 2012, stage eight

He added: “As far as taking my own case further, the small window of opportunity to go to CAS has long since passed, even if I could have afforded it.

“However, should the chance arise in the future where I could be heard at a proper court, I would grab it with both hands, as I’m confident the ‘passport’ would not stand up to the same scrutiny applied to forensics there.”

Tiernan-Locke, who had his 2012 Tour of Britain title stripped after his abnormal blood levels were discovered, is keen to return to racing once his ban expires on January 1, 2016.

But the 30-year-old still holds reservations about the legitimacy of the UCI's biological passport program.

“I’ve never wanted to hurt the sport of cycling – I hope to race again next year,” he added “But as I found out, the process is so weighted against the athlete.

“For the UCI, the passport has to seem infallible, so they need to win cases at almost any cost. And it’s wrong that, on the back of that, they have the power of God, it seems.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.